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Australian Pharmacy Practice
foundation Sanofi Aventis Medal of excellence
in the Great Hall University of Sydney Nov 14th 2008

James Receives Award.


Thank you to:
Sanofi Aventis

Pharmacy Practice Foundations

Dr Karen Peachy for nomination

Pharmacists who have gone before

To future pharmacists who will climb on our shoulders

To my staff who have helped invoke some of my mad ideas

To my family of pharmacists – esp. Carmel partner in life and partner in business and my children who at a younger age did not see huge amounts of me because of the crazy hours that I had worked. The inspiration of my father and my brother in law and my sisters, who are here tonight.


Mr Chairman, the president Warwick Plunket and his Council of the Pharmacy Practice Foundation , the Australian management of Sanofi Aventis, members of the pharmacy practice foundation, fellow pharmacists and my family.

I am the “mad chemist” from Brisbane, that changed the way people interacted with pharmacies. Ideas that I have tried have spread far and wider throughout Australia and in some cases overseas. We have made pharmacy a more health experience as we have allowed our patients, not only in health, but in photography and other associated and traditional pharmacy areas, easier access to professional advice.

This has changed the way we do business and have helped our patients achieve a better level of wellness.

For this to be achieved I have had a backgroung of a great pharmacy family. My father Jas J was present of the forerunner of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia the Australian Pharmaceutical Association of Australia. He held executive positions, both state and Federal level with the pharmaceutical society and was a awarded honorary life membership of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

He was “the message boy” as a prominent South Australian pharmacist said of him at the time. That brought in the first correct protocol of drug recalls which seem routine these days. As well he brought innovation and profitability to the guild seal company, the forerunner of today’s Gold Cross Products.

My Pharmacist wife Carmel, has long been a supporter of me and my out of the square ideas and has always let me ‘have a go’ and to be a ‘doer’. Sometimes I have won but other times/WOW not so good, but in the end we have had more wins then losses.

My daughter Bridget has just registered as a pharmacist, after completing her degree at the University of Queensland.

My brother in law Terry Parer who was the community pharmacist in St George Country Queensland, has been my mentor, and best friend.

My Pharmacist sister, Alice-Anne Bagster from Denniston, Sydney, along with Jennifer my three sons Daniel, Brenda and Seamus. I would like to place on record to them my gratitude for their love and understanding, and helping encourage me in making my ideas into reality, and so making a difference to the public’s perception of community pharmacy in Australia.

What I have achieved is a matter of public record, and you can read about it in other places.

My continuing message is that I have taken advice from many good and great pharmacists, some of whom are here tonight, and I would like to mention them by name without elaborating as they have touched my professional life, some from a very early age:

· Warrick Wilkinson
· John Bronga
· Bill Kelly
· Ken Bickle
· Ross Brown
· John Chapman
· Peter Brand
· Jay Hooper
· Marg Robertson
· Niel baynes
· Garry Kennedy
· Terry Herfort

One of my minor achievements is the re-birth of the National Pharmacy Student’s Association (NAPSA) in encouraging John Bronga and Peter Brand to fund a meeting of all the student leaders from the various pharmacy colleges, throughout Australia.

Lastly I would like to acknowledge the Pharmacy Guild’s National President Kos Scalvos, and his very lively and capable vice president Dr. Karen Peachy. Kos is 20 years to the day younger then I but I have never seen a man give more by way of himself and to be as talented and inspiring as he is. He has the common touch and yet is able to take the tough decisions for the sake of future generations of pharmacists. We don’t always share his vision but in the end the community benefits while he keeps pharmacy financially healthy.

We give of ourselves and are privileged to serve as the first health and knowledge related point of contact in the cities, suburbs, shopping centres and country towns. We are welcome because we are not always profit driven as it is our legacy of service and innovation that counts, which makes us stand apart, which we hope will never be diminished with some future trends, tending towards self service, bulk models of pharmacy.

We do not just hang out our “Shingle” to let folks know what we can do, but we are now taking ourselves to the customer, and we not only supply medicine at the right price, but we also pass on knowledge both verbally and written, as well as using modern electrical mediums. We have won the fight for now, to stay in business, to give the Australian public a unique service that is the envy of the world.

As no where else can the public pick up their medication and advice in such a healthy environment.

Let us push the model of pharmacy that we have for now and keep on improving it. Let our clients and our elected leaders, and our public servants know they have the best, and should be helping us keep it.

May I take this opportunity to thank Sanofi Aventis for the great honour and privilege that this medal bestows on me. This is a once in a life time and places me in very elite company. Sanofi Aventis like ourselves have been through a metamorphosis – that’s has had to change with the times, and is now dedicated to research based drugs in 6 major therapeutic areas, and they are a company that recognises the corporate social responsibilities. I thank them for the support they are giving to the Pharmacy Practice Foundation, may their research centres continue to flourish as they pull back significant research and development funds into curing diseases and conditions, claim the lives of thousands each day.

In the few minutes I have been speaking, Sanofi Aventis products have been taken ingested or injected into literally of tens of thousands of our fellow human beings in every country on this ever shrinking earth of ours.

We Pharmacists at the coal-face end happily dispense their medicines and hopefully will continue to do so in many generations to come.

The Pharmacy Practice Foundation is ably chaired by Warrick Plunkett whose name I invoked in a lecture I recently gave in a lecture I recently gave in Paris last month, as coming from one of the great pharmacy families and who has taken the rare opportunity of living his dream and using his growing knowledge and great business talent, both at retail and manufacturing.

We hope that future pharmacists build on what we have started, jump on our shoulders and spread their message and energy and continue to push the envelope so that in future years they will bob up here to the peers of their time for their innovation and their ability to get it right and to change the way things are done.

Mr Chairman, Sanofi Aventis representatives, members of the pharmacy practice foundation, my family: I thank you.

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